Dirk Koetter Speaks at the Combine

Dirk Koetter addresses the national media at the combine.

(On the Buccaneers defense)
“I saw those guys every day in practice, so it’s not like I never looked at them before, but you know we had two players in the Pro Bowl, Lavonte David and Gerald McCoy and of course Kwon Alexander the outstanding rookie linebacker that we had, middle linebacker, those will be the guys that we build around.”
(On the style of the Buccaneers defense in 2016)
“We’ll be different some. As you know, we hired Mike Smith as our defensive coordinator. Smitty (Coach Smith) and I have a long history together — we were both at Jacksonville and Atlanta —and we have put together a terrific defensive staff. I think we will be a multiple team on defense. I think that’s one of the toughest things for an offense to go against so that’s what we’ll try to do on defense.”
(On the importance of the interview process at the combine)
“I think that is real important. Maybe the No. 1 thing from a coaching standpoint we get out of the combine is a chance to talk to the players one on one. I think that’s real important. Jameis was a great example of that. We weren’t the only team that were doing our homework on Jameis and its great to get those guys, not only at the train station with the coaches one on one, but also with the formal interviews with all the people from your club in there. I think it’s real important and Jameis did a great job.”
(On if the Buccaneers were convinced at the 2015 combine that the team would select Jameis Winston)
“I wouldn’t say just convinced here. Jason Licht and his guys did a lot of work on Jameis. That was a long, long, process, but the combine was definitely a part of that.”
(On the difference between now and his last job as a head coach, at Arizona State)
“Well I’m older. Hopefully a bit wiser. Older and wiser. Experience in the NFL, experience in anything, is the best teacher. Hopefully I’ve learned from the mistakes I made as a college head coach, but this is a different deal. Football is still football, but I think the last nine years as an assistant in the NFL have prepared me.”
(On if he is better suite to the NFL than college)
“I don’t know. That would be for someone else to judge but I’m not sure.”
(On if the perception of mobile quarterbacks has changed)
“I’m not sure. What Russel Wilson and Cam [Newton] have done getting to the Super Bowl, the way the spread offense has changed college football so much — I don’t know, that’s a hard question. I think the guys that can get you in the end zone is the bottom line. I don’t really look at it like that. We always just look at it — we are more of a pocket team in Tampa.”
(On if the definition of what defines a mobile quarterback is changing)
“I’d say that. Mobility comes in all shapes and sizes. Ben Roethlisberger is one of the toughest guys to sack in the NFL but I don’t think people would put him necessarily in that category. That’s why I said it goes back to guys that can get it done. I think Jameis is a good example of a guy that maybe people don’t think of as a mobile quarterback, but in some of the plays he makes his mobility does show up.”
(On how tough it is to keep secrets in the NFL)
“I think it’s impossible to keep a secret. I think it’s rough. Look at what we have here. Look at the following. We have a great game and the interest of the fans. Everybody is interested. That’s what makes the NFL great. I think its real tough to keep secrets (Laughs).”
(On his history with Cincinnati Head Coach Marvin Lewis)
“I do have a long history with Marvin (Lewis) and I think he’s a terrific coach and an even better person. Marvin is one of the several guys I hope to get some time with over the next few days. I have a list of questions for him but it’s a secret.”
(On Lewis’ strengths as a head coach)
“Marvin’s strengths in my opinion — first of all he’s just a great football guy and No. 2 how well he deals with people, how steady he is on an everyday basis. That’s how I look at it anyway.”
(On evaluating ‘lower-level’ quarterbacks in the draft)
“Define ‘lower-level’. I don’t think it’s that tough. The same skill set is there and there are some great examples. There’s a couple guys here… I just came up from the weigh-ins and the kid that went from Eastern Washington to Oregon Vernon Adams and there are some guys that are just good football players at any level. That’ll show itself over time.”
(On the health and role of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins)
“Well Austin, unfortunately in both of his years in the league so far, has just had a hard time staying healthy. I think Austin is an extremely talented player. There are not very many tight ends coming into the NFL anymore that are prototypical tight ends, guys that can do everything — they can block, they can catch, they play half wide receiver, half offensive tackle. I think Austin is one of those guys, can be one of those guys, but No. 1 thing he’s got to do is stay healthy.”
(On running back Charles Sims)
“Charles had a nice year for us and we think the world of Charles. The role that he played last year was more of a complementary role and he did a great job in that role. Charles is a guy who can do a lot of good things, not only if you hand it to him but if you throw it to him. When Charles was drafted in Tampa I know the feeling was he could be an every down back if need be. We’ll see how that plays out.”
(On General Manager Jason Licht and re-signing running back Doug Martin)
“You’ll have to ask him that. You’ll get a chance to ask him that later but hopefully we can get that done.”
(On if it’s more difficult to be patient with a highly drafted quarteback considering the pressure to win)
“I’m not exactly sure about that, but these guys getting drafted in the first round, they are drafting them to play them. I look back, my only other experience besides Jameis is when we had Blaine Gabbert in Jacksonville. I think Blaine is a very talented player that is an example of a guy who maybe wasn’t quite ready to be a starter in the NFL as a rookie. He had been just a three year college guy but I also think every case is different. I think it depends on what type of team you have around him and what type of maturity that guy has, both physically and mentally. Let’s face it — nobody has patience anymore. They’re drafting these guys to play them.”
(On wide receiver Kenny Bell)
“Kenny Bell, another player that we feel like has a lot of talent, but missed the entire season with injury, so he’s kind of similar to Austin Seferian-Jenkins. We have to get him on the field.”
(On evaluating prospects from Ohio State and the talent entering the draft)
“I’ve watched a lot of college tape leading up to this and boy, three teams that jumped out were Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama. Huge, huge, talent on those football teams. I mean really, really, impressive. There are a lot of guys on that Ohio State team that are definitely going to have long careers in the NFL.”
(On the biggest difference between being a head coach and a coordinator at the combine)
“Both sides, just more players. I used to just sit in on the offensive weigh-ins, the offensive workouts, the offensive interviews and now it’s the whole thing. We have 60 interviews lined up over the next few days and I’ve been fortunate enough to watch some tape on all of those guys and I’m looking forward to meeting them.”
(On what the next step is for quarterback Jameis Winston)
“Jameis did have a nice rookie season. I think the great think about Jameis Winston is he always wants to get better. I think it was really fortunate that he was able to go out to the Pro Bowl and spend some time with the top players in the league at every position and I think all that did was motivate Jameis to continue to get better. As I said, with coaching I believe it with quarteback play as well — experience is the best teacher. So the fact that Jameis has a better idea of what to expect moving forward I think will enable him to continue to get better.”
(On if Winston mentioned any players who stood out to him at this year’s Pro Bowl)
“He did. I asked him that question and he had a lot of guys that he mentioned. Two guys he mentioned in particular were Russel Wilson and Julio Jones.”
(On where he stands on the NFL’s rules regarding reviewable plays)
“I don’t know where I stand on that. In college that was a rule, where every play was reviewed. I think it was a lot easier on the coaches. Having not been through it myself, I’m probably not the most qualified guy to answer that, but it seems like one of the hardest things on the coaches right now is knowing what is reviewable and what isn’t. We have the technology to get it right. It would make sense to me to go with the college rule, but again I’m probably not the most qualified person to answer that.”
(On the challenge of contending in the NFC South)
“I heard we might get traded to the NFC West, is that what you’re talking about?(Laughs) It’s going to be tough because there are good teams in there.”
(On the challenges facing the Buccaneers)
“We were a 6-10 team so we have a lot of challenges. We have to just try to get better every day.”
(On wide receiver Vincent Jackson’s cap number)
“The cap number question would be more of a question for Jason, but as a football coach I would love to have Vincent Jackson on my team any day of the week.”
(On being linked to positions with other teams at the end of the 2015 season)
“I can’t say. I was in the hospital having my hip replaced, so I hardly had contact with anybody, except my doctor.”
(On getting past Carolina in the NFC South)
“I think the Panthers are a great team for us to model ourselves after. They’ve hit on their draft picks, they’ve been patient with their coaches, they have excellent players and they’re very well coached. They’ve done a great job there and it gives us the pattern that we need to shoot for.”
(On if he visited the West Coast after the season)
“No I didn’t go to the West Coast. I went to Westshore Drive right by my house.”
(On Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers Coach Todd Monken)
“We are thrilled to get Todd Monken from Southern Mississippi as our offensive coordinator. We worked together in Jacksonville. He’s a terrific football coach. He’s been the play caller, he’s been a quarterback guy, he’s a really, really, really, good wide receiver coach. He can help us in a lot of ways and we are thrilled with our entire coaching staff, but Monk is a good get for us.”

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